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Around Australia in 1997
Les Nixon and his team, Daryl Shaw—colonial singer, and Brett Cardwell—a veteran published cartoon-artist, are on their way around Australia on a 'Thanksgiving Patrol. It's in gratitude to God for the change in Australia's economy, as a result of the steady rains since '95. While it is an act of Thanksgiving to God, the patrol is also casting a Gospel net over Australia.
SENSITIVE TO THE PROBLEMS OF 'THE-MAN-ON-THE-LAND'
A HUNDRED TOWNS THIS YEAR: All of the patrol teams will minister to people in a hundred communities in the next six months. Some with cathedrals; most with no church at all.
So, the purpose of the project is to offer thanks to God in an act of Worship, and to bring a Gospel team to various churches. It's another opportunity to reach out to the unchurched in the community (something like the Seekers Service in city churches these days)—and to encourage Christians in their faith. They focus on the Gospel. Their motive is: "By all means, EVERYWHERE, to reach some."
AROUND AUSTRALIA: Rev. Les Nixon will lead his team for meetings during June, all the way around Australia. They start at Sydney and Brisbane and move on to Caboolture, Townsville, Cairns, Richmond, Cloncurry, Mt. Isa, Tennant Creek, Katherine, Darwin, Hall's Creek, Kununurra, Wyndham, Derby, Broome, Goldsworthy, Pt. Hedland, Parabadadoo, Newman, Onslow, Karratha, Roebourne, Onslow, Carnarvon, Geraldton, Perth, Albany, Esperance, Kalgoorlie and Boulder, Eucla, Ceduna, Pt. Augusta, Pt. Pirie, Adelaide, Mildura, Swan Hill, Melbourne, Albury and Canberra.
INLAND: Pilots Phil Lamb, Steve Ward and Adam Brown fly teams during the year for special meetings to Dubbo, Wee Waa, Brewarrina, Lightning Ridge, Walgett, Bourke, Bolon, Roma, Dirrinbandi, Cunnamulla, Eulo, Thargomindah, Windorah, Birdsville, Bedourie, Boulia, Winton, Longreach, Oodnadatta, Yulara, Marree, Andamooka, Coober Pedy, Leigh Creek, Tibooburra, Broken Hill, White Cliffs, Wanaaring, Wilcannia, Cobar and Condobolin.
IF GOD BE FOR US WHO CAN BE AGAINST US? And their mission verse is from Romans 8:31: "What can we ever say to such wonderful things as these? If God be for us, who can be against us?"
SPECIAL MEETINGS: Special meetings always generate interest. They bless the Christians, and attract the apathetic. One aged lady in Nhill, Vic. was so touched with a team, she gave the pilots her life's verse: Psalm 126:6, "I will preserve your going out and your coming in from this day henceforth and for ever more." Children love it when guests arrive. One lad called Les's accordion an 'air-compressor' and Daryl's didgeridoo, 'dedicated-plumbing'; another learned the Lord's Prayer for a table grace. A minister explained 'they thought they'd never get there, and never get home again', on their work in the never-never! It wasn't so long ago that missionaries were subjects of quiet admiration, but one little girl said recently, 'they should have been eaten by the cannibals.' Flynn started the flying work off, and many good people have followed in his steps. He said, "When you have the dream, all else is easy!" Well, we hope that you have the dream also.
MEMORIES: Lloyd Beasy from Mildura remembers the '70's Around Australia Patrols, "They were significant," he said. While it involves one night visits only, they have a worthy input to the work of the Gospel, and not only reached outside people, but strengthen Christian work as well. Hans Volk came to Christ that way. So did Glad Bowman. Darwin churches made it townwide in 1971, and say it expanded the Churches. The first Christian meeting at Karratha in WA was an Outback Patrol event when that town opened in the late '60's. Derby and Roebourne each year. Sydney's Archbishop Harry Goodhew was a BCA rector at Ceduna SA when he invited the team. Richie Gunston remembers that night; packed to the rafters. Carnarvon Churches treated it as an annual mission. In many ways, the one night emphasis can be just what the church needs to assist it's growth.
FRUITFUL DECADE: More people are being reached for Jesus Christ this decade than in any time in the Church's history. Everywhere. Australia, too.
In each place, local Churches invite them in, arrange the functions, invite the people to hear the team, and share in a worship and evangelistic service.
PRAY FOR THEM: "Call upon Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things you know not of" (Jeremian 33:3).
Remember: 'Don't back out on the outback!'
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